Video: Unearthing our Ulster Scots history

The history of Ulster Scots is unearthed in a new television series celebrating the archaeology and history of Northern Ireland’s past.

Ulster Unearthed begins on Monday night with the first in a series six half-hour programmes delving into the history of Ulster Scots links to Northern Ireland.

Using laser technology and state-of-the-art computer imaging, a team of experts explores a variety of local sites and digs across Ulster and reveals exciting new finds.

The Ulster Unearthed series is presented by UTV’s Rita FitzGerald and produced by Televisionary:NI - a new, local independent production company.

The series received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund (USBF). 

During the series the team explores a 400-year-old fort at Dunnalong on the banks of the River Foyle and travels to where a bloody battle took place near Ballymoney in 1642.

In Carrickfergus, Ulster Unearthed takes a closer look at the castle that has played a military role for almost 1,000 years and in Ballycarry, near Larne, learns more about a site -close to Ireland’s first Presbyterian church - that a property developer has his eye on…

In Bangor, the team searches for an Ulster-Scots settlement but finds relics from a much earlier period. Dunluce is the setting for the final programme in the series, where we learn more about a medieval hall dating back to the 1550s and the Castle’s resident ghost!

Televisionary:NI’s Creative Director, Jeremy Hibbard said: “Thousands of people came to Ulster from Scotland during the seventeenth century. These ‘Ulster-Scots’ made the journey to escape religious persecution, improve their standing in life and also because the journey was short and easy to make.

“Ulster Unearthed will provide an insight into what life was like for them back then. We watch as ground is broken for the first time - and analyse each dig as it comes to a close. We use the latest technology to help uncover archaeological secrets. Our experts are passionate about their subject - making the story-telling both entertaining and enlightening.”

Michael Wilson, UTV’s Managing Director of Television said: “This is a fascinating new series. We have a long track record of working with Televisionary and we’re looking forward to the same success that their Ultimate Ulster series delivered for UTV. It was not only the most-watched non-news programme on UTV at that time, but also the most-watched regional programme in the whole of the UK.”

Rita FitzGerald said: “Ulster Unearthed is a fabulous series to work on. I hope viewers enjoy watching it as much as we did making it! The history and special effects are really amazing.”

The series begins on Monday night at 8pm on UTV.